Do you want a wireless keyboard or a gaming keyboard with mechanical switches?
It used to be one or the other, or buy two separate keyboards, but with the Logitech G613 (available for $108.99 on Newegg), Logitech asks, “why not have both in a single deck?” The G613 is not only Logitech’s first wireless gaming keyboard, but also one of the only wireless gaming keyboards available on the market today. While “wireless” and “gaming” are usually two polar opposites when it comes to both design philosophy and target audience, Logitech has forged ahead and delivered a keyboard that really can game with the best of them without any wires holding it down.
But is it enough to satisfy both gamers and wireless keyboard aficionados?
Design and Comfort
The first thing you notice about the G613 is its size. The G613 is big and bulky, weighing 135.7 grams with a height of 4.88 inches, a width of 2.68 inches, and a depth of 1.69 inches. It takes up a ton of real estate, which can be a problem if you’ve got a smaller desk. What makes matters worse is that the wrist guard, while moderately comfortable, can’t be detached from the board. I say moderately comfortable because while I did enjoy using it, I would have loved to see it cushioned with some leather padding.
Design-wise, the G613 is as basic as a keyboard can get. Logitech definitely went in the direction of form over function here – there’s no flashy RGB lighting, sleek, metal plates, or a floating keycap design – all you get is just two smooth, hard gray pieces of plastic. That’s not to say the design is bad, but for those who want a lot of style and flare in their keyboard, they’ll have to look elsewhere.
Performance and Features
The G613 is a full size keyboard with a row of six dedicated macro keys on the left hand side of the board. I love the key placement here, as they were easy for me to reach with my pinky. I could leave my other fingers on the WASD keys and hit the macro keys and not interrupt my flow in game. The macro keys are incredibly powerful – with Logitech’s software, you can bind practically anything you can think of to these keys, from keystrokes, key combinations, text strings, mouse clicks, and more.
This extends the G613’s use from beyond just a gaming keyboard to a keyboard you could also use for office work, and at this price point, that’s a pretty nice feature to have. Logitech also included profiles for tons of the latest games, for those who just want to jump in and play instead of spending a bunch of time customizing macros. My one complaint is there’s no way to change profiles on board – you have to do it through the software, which is slow and annoying.
The G613 also has additional keys to set up the wireless and Bluetooth connection, as well as a Game Mode key that disables the Windows key, right click key, or any other key you configure in Logitech’s software. There’s also several media keys on the upper right hand side. The media keys are a little disappointing, particularly the volume rocker. I would have preferred a knob.
Switch It Up
Logitech went with its own brand of Romer-G mechanical switches for the G613. I’m a big fan of Cherry MX switches, so going in I was a bit skeptical as to how these switches would perform. However, they were very responsive and easy to press, and after a few hours of gaming, I wasn’t missing my precious Cherry switches at all. For the curious, the Romer-G switches felt closest to Cherry Reds to me, with no tactile feedback, little key noise, light actuation force, and a linear feel. Basically, if you’re a fan of Reds, you’ll like Logitech’s switches.
The G613 is powered by two AA batteries. Logitech claims the G613 will last 18 months before you have to change batteries. While I obviously didn’t have time to test it, I will say the batteries held up over several long marathon sessions.
The G613 has two different wireless connections available – traditional Bluetooth or Logitech’s “Lightspeed” wireless. For general everyday use, both connections are rock solid, and Logitech has also included a USB adapter to help boost the signal. But you’re not reading this review wondering how the G613 performs under regular use – you want to know if it’s good enough for gaming. I’m happy to say that in my testing, I didn’t notice any lag or dropped inputs, and response time was just as fast as with a regular wired keyboard. Even in the fastest, most input-heavy shooters, performance on the G613 was seemingly indistinguishable from a wired keyboard. However, I have to note that with wireless connections, the possibility of lag or dropped inputs always exists, so if you are in a high stakes tournament with money on the line, you might want to stick with a traditional wired keyboard.
This potential is increased if you are in an environment with lots of cellphones, routers, or other wireless devices, since for some reason, Logitech put its Lightspeed wireless on the 2.4 GHz band instead of the less crowded 5 GHz band.
Wired V. Wireless
The Logitech G613 has combined the best of both worlds, and somehow managed to make it all work. It’s a great gaming keyboard with high end mechanical switches and a great wireless keyboard with a stable, powerful wireless connection. If you need both a wireless and a gaming keyboard, the G613 is not only your best bet, but practically your only bet. It may not be the most feature rich keyboard around, but the fact it has such high performance wireless is more than enough to recommend it.